SAN ANTONIO – When Bexar County’s new inmate intake facility opens, the city of San Antonio will take over the current Magistrate’s Office near the Municipal Court downtown, which means the city and county will have separate intake operations.
A main goal of the new facility is to allow a more well-rounded assessment of people who are arrested in Bexar County.
“Many of them come in here with a significant mental health issue, drug issue, physical injuries. We'll be able to determine all of that. We'll be able to better identify who they actually are,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.
Wolff said a full assessment of an individual is crucial because ending up behind bars can influence who a person becomes.
“The longer you stay through that door, the more apt you're going to be to get in trouble again,” Wolff said.
The Bexar County Intake and Assessment Center has altered the magistration process.
“Open booking -- this is where a person, if he's not causing trouble, can sit out here in an open way. He can walk over to this phone that you see on the wall, call their loved one, call their bail bondsman,” Wolff said, describing the facility.
The center houses an area that offers some privacy for mental and physical health assessments, something officials say wasn’t readily available in the old Magistrate’s Office.
Above the $10 million intake center is another area that includes medical facilities. Shavano Park Police Chief Ray Lacy really likes the idea.
“If I bring someone down here and he's got minor medical issues, they'll have folks that can triage them right here and decide do they need to go to the hospital,” Lucy said.